Salford City Reds are gearing themselves up for a truly Magic Weekend.
The Reds face off against Huddersfield Giants on Sunday as part of the Super League spectacular taking place at the Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium this weekend.
The Magic concept comes to Manchester for the first time and Reds’ head coach Phil Veivers is delighted to be part of the occasion.
“Not all the fans could travel to Murrayfield or the Millennium Stadium,” he said. “It's up in the North West, it's not as far to travel and hopefully we'll get a lot more through the gates."
Magic Weekend sees all 14 Super League teams play over the same weekend in the same stadium with many bitter local rivalries taking centre stage.
“It's brilliant because you get seven different games and 14 different lots of fans all coming to the same place,” said Veivers. “There's never an ounce of trouble, they all enjoy a drink and having a bit of fun and a bit of banter.”
Veivers has been disappointed in his side’s recent run of form which has seen them pick up only one point from their last six league outings.
“We're probably six or seven points down so in the back end of the season we've got to try and claw those points back”
Second rower Luke Adamson echoes his coach’s thoughts and is positive about the effect Magic being in Manchester will have on Reds’ chances on Sunday.
“It should be a fantastic occasion in Manchester and it’s more or less a home game for us,” he said. “It means the usual game day, no travel and no overnight stay.
“Going to Cardiff and Edinburgh made for great occasions in the past but if you want the fans to stay in the sport’s heartland then Manchester is ideal.”
Scrumhalf Matty Smith has been a stand out player for the Reds all season but acknowledged the team’s downturn in form recently.
“The effort was there again but our attacking play isn't as good as it was earlier in the year,” he said. “We're playing well and it's that last fence that we can't seem to get over.”
“There are plenty more games to go.
“We're only five points behind eighth position, which is where we want to be,” he added. “There's a long way to go and we'll stay positive.”
Follow MM’s live blog and @bensevenburrows for all the action and reaction from the Magic Weekend